My Studio Apartment’s Noise Problems
My studio apartment is in the middle of the Kuala Lumpur city center and has 4 sources of noise pollution that make it hard to sleep:
- LRT train noise – every 6 mins from 5 am to 12 am
- LRT track maintenance noise (once every few weeks from 1 am to 4 am)
- School activity noise
- Construction noise
I researched and hired a soundproofing window company to solve my problems. In this article, I’ll share with you my personal experience:
- The soundproofing window installation process in my apartment.
- The dB difference before and after installation.
- Ultimately, am I happy? Is it worth it?
I’ll start by presenting the key findings of my soundproofing project:
Summary of Soundproofing Performance
The average train noise reduction after installing the soundproofing windows is -20 dB (or a -30% reduction).
|Noise Source||How I Feel Before||How I Feel After|
|LRT Train noise||Can’t sleep||30% reduction|
|Train track maintenance||Can’t sleep||What noise?|
|School noise||I hear it, but not bothered||What noise?|
|Construction noise||Can sleep, but annoying||What noise?|
I used a decibel meter app on my phone to measure the noise difference when the train passes in 6 scenarios:
|Test||Situation||Ambient Noise (dB)||Train Noise (dB)||Difference (dB)|
|1||[Before Installation]: Inside with closed sliding doors. No school noises||45 dB||60 dB||+15 dB|
|2||[Before Installation]: Inside, closed sliding doors with school noise||50 dB||70 dB||+20 dB|
|3||At the balcony outside – with school noise in the background||67 dB||80 dB||+13 dB|
|4||[After Installation]: measured inside – daytime, 1st train||33 dB||45 dB||+ 12 dB|
|5||[After Installation]: measured inside – daytime, 2nd train||36 dB||46 dB||+10 dB|
|6||[After Installation]: measured inside – night time||35 dB||45 dB||+10 dB|
Total project cost: Roughly RM 7,000 which includes:
- Dismantling & disposal of old 3 panels sliding doors and old bathroom window
- Soundproofing windows:
- 3-panel window replacing sliding doors
- 1 small bathroom window
How Do Soundproofing Windows Work?
Soundproofing works on 2 principles:
- A thicker glass with a plastic laminate sandwiched in the middle of the glass that help to bounce off as much noise as possible.
- Air-tight window frame that does not allow noise to seep through.
How the Soundproofing Windows Are Installed
Final Verdict, am I Happy?
At first, I was disappointed because I can still hear the train noise. But most of the noise is coming from the wooden door and not from the soundproof windows.
After a while, I have grown to accept the overall soundproofing performance. Despite still being able to hear the train noises, I don’t find any problems sleeping, and it is easier to forget about the train noise at 45 dB as opposed to before at 65 dB.
My next project is to DIY to install rubber D-shaped seals on the wooden door. You can get these at Lazada: